Spring has sprung and that means its time to book your camping trips for the summer. Camping with kids can be a ton of fun, but it also takes a lot of preparation. You don’t just need to air out the tent and make sure the air mattresses still hold air, you also have to make sure that you have all the supplies you will need to keep the kids occupied, happy and safe.
The camping trip really starts long before you even leave the house, and for the kids it can be an exciting time. They are full of anticipation and because of that it is important to get them involved in the planning process.
Getting Ready for Camping With Kids
I have compiled a list things you can do to make sure you are ready for camping with kids this season.
- Packing – One of the most exciting parts of camping, going anywhere over night really, for kids is packing. Let your kids pack what they need with your guidance. Tell them how many pairs of underwear and socks they will need, how many shirts, bathing suits, pairs of shorts, pants, sweaters, etc. Its a great lesson in counting for the younger kids and great for learning organization and planning. Once they have packed, go through their suitcases with them and take out anything that may not be needed and add what they may have forgotten.
- Meal Planning – Get a few camping cookbooks or browse the internet for some fun camping meal ideas. Take some time before the trip to go over the recipes with your kids and have them point out meals they would like to make. Once you are camping they will be more interested in meal time if they know it was one of the meal ideas they picked.
- Food Preparation – A lot of the food for camping can be pre-made. Have your kids help with those meals. Let them make cookies, cut up fruits and vegetables, package nuts and berries, prep food for freezing, a few days before you are leaving.
- Food Packing – While the adults will be the ones to organize and pack the main coolers separating frozen, cold and dry foods the kids can also take part in food packing. Get a separate cooler just for the kids. Let them pack their snacks and drinks into it. This is so important, it allows them to feel in control over their food and it keeps them from constantly opening the other cold coolers which will keep your ice colder longer.
- Toys – It is best to limit the amount of toys they can bring. I suggest two stuffed animals that they can cuddle up with at night. Have them pick two of their favorite stuffed toys that will be good for the car ride and for the sleeping arrangements. Make sure not to have them pick larger ones as packing space in the car can be an issue.
- Games – Play, Play, Play. Organize a scavenger hunt, bring bubbles and play bubble tag, have the kids create a stick and rock tic tack toe game, let them us their imaginations to create games. The campsite can be an incredible resource for finding new and exciting items to have fun with.
- Campground Chores – Before you go, discuss campground chores with the kids. Give them each a few simple tasks that they can carry out while at the site. Help with doing the dishes, setting the table, cleaning up after meals, sweeping the tent, making the beds, tidying up the tent. It helps keep them busy and teaches them that camping is a group effort.
And last but never ever least…
- First Aid and Safety – You would be surprised how many people do not take this part as seriously as they should. Make sure before you leave you have up to date first aid kits, bug spray, sun lotion, medicines, proper fitting life jackets, rain coats, enough dry clothing for the trip. As well always discuss water and fire safety with your kids. Camping should be fun and above all Safe.
If you plan correctly you will have an amazing summer camping.